Our staff of experts share their top picks for best deer feeder, covering gravity deer feeders, hanging deer feeders and tripod deer feeders. They have also put together an awesome buying guide to help you decide which feeder is right for you.
The hunter's paradox: deer are everywhere all the time except for where you want them when you want them there. But what if you could actually influence the movements of a whole herd?
You can do just that simply by feeding them. Now, how to go about that is another question, though. Should you get a big tripod feeder that slings feed in a large radius with a spin caster? Or would it be better to get an inconspicuous gravity feeder that you don't need to maintain?
Best Gravity Feeder
Best tripod feeder
moultrie pro ii
Best hanging feeder
Well keep reading because the answers to these questions are right below in addition to our reviews of all the best feeders on the market this year.
Best Deer Feeder List
Best Deer Feeder Reviews
Below you will find deer feeder reviews from our staff of experts. These are REAL REVIEWS from REAL HUNTERS that actually use these feeders all year round on their hunting properties.
They will share their top picks for gravity deer feeders, tripod deer feeders, hanging deer feeders and ground feeders. They will tell you what they like about each feeder and what they don't like, so that you can make an educated decision about what is the best deer feeder for you and your property.
Let's get on with the reviews.
Best Gravity Feeder For Deer
Boss Buck Gravity Deer Feeder
This is a large tripod feeder capable of holding an impressive 200 pounds of feed. That's enough for a whole herd for long periods of time, so you don't have to maintain the feed levels as often, important since this feeder is designed for remote terrain that you can only access by foot or ATV.
Now, its large size can make it more difficult to get it where you need it. However, this is made easier thanks to the leg conversion system and the plastic design that's lightweight but still tough enough to handle rough weather in summer and winter.
Speaking of year-round use, it functions as a gravity feeder in the spring and summer, great for protein feed supplementation, but also works as an automatic system in the fall and winter when carbohydrates are more important. While you can adjust the feed flow yourself, it funnels into three ports so it can feed multiple deer at a time and keep your herd healthy.
- 200-lb capacity
- Leg conversion system
- Lightweight plastic
- Gravity and automatic feeding
- Adjustable feed flow
- 3 feed ports
- High price
- Awkward to transport
Here is a great video from Dr. James Kroll, known as Dr. Deer, showing why he recommends the Boss Buck Feeder.
You should look at this feeder if you have a a lot of deer on a large piece of property. It can handle a number of deer throughout the year due to its different settings and adjustability, not to mention the huge capacity. Use it to maintain proper nutritional ratios in your bucks, does and fawns even if they cover a large range.
This is a simple, easy-to-use gravity feeder with a decent capacity of 40 pounds. This is nice because it can feed multiple deer for long periods without having to refill it. Plus, the large lid makes it easy to fill, though it also makes it easy for squirrels to get in if you're not careful.
That said, the plastic on this feeder is really tough. This makes it great for hanging up in deep wooded areas where it will be exposed to the elements. The only real inconvenience is that you have to find the right tree and install it yourself. Luckily, the strap is included and straightforward to use.
Finally, we like that this gravity feeder can hold a wide range of feed. From corn to fruit mixes to protein pellets, it funnels the feed down into an easily accessible tray specifically designed for deer.
- Simple design
- Tough plastic
- Included mounting strap
- Suitable for different feeds
- Budget price
- Loose lid
- Requires installation
If you manage deer on remote property with thick brush, this gravity feeder is a good option. Not only is it tough, but you can easily install it on trees or posts near feeding areas or along game trails without needing the space required for a tripod feeder. Plus, you can use it year round since it's suitable for multiple types of feed.
Moultrie Gravity Tripod Feeder
This is another tripod feeder that has a large 200-lb capacity and three feeding ports but at a more affordable cost. What it's really great for is protein pellets in the spring and summer thanks to the adjustable flow. That said, it does have a quicklock adapter to switch it to an automatic spincast feeder that's great for winter feeding.
The main downsides of this model are the black finish, which isn't a big deal but can cause it to heat up on sunny days, and the legs. Although the legs are highly adjustable so you can get the height you want, they're not as stable as some other models and may sink into wet ground.
However, that's all made up for by the easy top. One of the best designs we've found, the top is easy to remove and provides a large hole so you can just pour in the feed you want. At the same time, it's secure and doesn't let in rodents like squirrels.
- Great value
- 200-lb capacity
- Quicklock adapter
- Adjustable height
- Easy to fill
- Secure top
- Black finish
- Unstable feet
Moultrie Feeders a good option if you need a tripod feeder with a large capacity to feed a lot of deer but are a little short on cash. A great value, it provides easy feeding for various feed types but is highly adjustable so you can get your herd exactly what it needs, especially bucks growing antlers during the spring and summer.
Redneck Outdoors T Post Gravity Feeder
No trees, no problem. The Redneck T Post gravity feeder has its own post to support it stably but inconspicuously so that the local deer come to it for their nutritional needs. The post also makes it easy to set up in just about any terrain without too much hassle carrying it.
Of course, the single post means it's a bit smaller than full tripod deer feeders. Its capacity is 80 pounds, still enough to feed a number of deer without having to refill it too often. When you do need to refill it, it's easy to do so thanks to the pop-off lid. The only problem is that squirrels can sometimes get through the thinner parts of the polyethylene.
Another problem is the small feeding port which is really only enough for one deer at a time. However, this is due to the tall design of the feeder and adjustable height that really takes advantage of gravity to pull down any type of feed, especially sticky fruit-based feeds that have a tendency to clump up.
- Included post
- 80-lb capacity
- Easy to refill
- Tall design
- Adjustable height
- Installation required
- Small feeding port
- Weak lid
If you don't need a full tripod feeder, this Redneck feeder can save you some money. More significantly, it's ideal for sparse terrain with few trees where you need a post to install your feeder. It's great for clumpy feed like fruits and protein, the stuff deer especially love in the spring and summer.
On Time Buckeye Gravity Deer Feeder
This gravity feeder from On Time has a bit of a unique design with large trays rather than feeding ports. We really like this because it gets a lot of food out fast and can feed deer round the clock with no hiccups, especially feed like corn. The only issue is that it more easily allows other animals besides deer to get to the feed, so it's better for property dominated by deer—or if you just want to feed the whole forest.
We also like the improved lid on the Buckeye, which at least keeps other animals from getting to the bulk of the feed. It takes a little more work on your part, too, but it'll save you hassle in the long run.
Overall, the biggest draw of the Buckeye is probably its value. Despite its affordable price, it still holds a solid 200 pounds of feed, and the internal cone helps prevent feed waste, meaning you save money in that regard as well.
- Large tray feeding ports
- Tight lid
- Great value
- 200-lb capacity
- Internal cone dispensing
- Accessible to other animals
- Difficult to refill
This feeder makes a great choice for homesteaders or those with a small amount of property who want to feed and attract deer as well as other animals. It's inexpensive but effective and functional with an expertly designed funnel system to consistently dispense feed.
Texas Hunter 600lb Extreme Gravity Deer Feeder - Best Gravity Deer Feeder With A Large Capacity
It's no surprise that Texas Hunter decided to describe this gravity feeder as "extreme." That's definitely what it is. With a massive 600-pound capacity and four feeding ports, it can supply a growing herd of deer with nutrition year round.
The thing that we like the most about this feeder is that with such a large capacity, we don't have to fill it very often and that means less trips onto the property. Less intrusions and the deer feel less pressured and are much more likely to come out during the day to feed.
On top of that, it has a lot of great features you won't find on other gravity deer feeders. For example, it has parallel skis at the base instead of a tripod. This makes it especially stable and keeps it from sinking into wet ground, important if you're going to leave it in remote terrain through the winter. Plus, the skis make it easier to move around.
We also really like the hunter green finish that helps it blend in with the background. This way, your deer feel more comfortable feeding from it, and it's just a lot less disruptive to the ecosystem overall.
Finally, we were impressed with how easy it is to set up and fill this feeder despite its large size and adjustability. Specifically, you can adjust the feed flow to control how much your deer are getting, great if you're changing the type of feed based on the season.
- Huge 600-lb capacity
- 4 feed ports
- Stable but movable base
- Hunter green finish
- Easy setup
- Adjustable feed flow
This Texas Hunter feeder is arguably the best gravity feeder you'll find if you're willing to pay for it and have a lot of deer on your property you need to keep properly fed and nourished. Not only can it hold and dispense more feed than the vast majority of other gravity deer feeders, but it's more stable in remote terrain while still being easy to set up and move.
Best Tripod Deer Feeder
Moultrie Pro II Tripod Deer Feeder
Our favorite thing about this tripod feeder is its six feed times per day. Not only does this help you control when your deer eat, drawing them to certain places at certain times, but it allows you to feed more deer with the same feeder since different deer come at different times. You can also program the feeding to last from one to 20 seconds.
While it could be bigger for an electronic feeder, it does have a 200 lb capacity, which should last you a decent amount of time. Then, it's easy to fill because of its height, 5.5 feet. You don't have to climb up on something, which could lead to an accident.
Our biggest complaint is definitely the required 6V battery, which is not included. If you go with this feeder, make sure you get the battery as well. Once you've installed the battery, there are a number of helpful indicators including a feed level estimator so you know when to refill and a battery indicator so your deer don't come to the feeder but end up hungry.
We actually keep at least 2 batteries. That way, you can always have one battery fully charged and ready to switch out with a low battery.
- Up to 6 feed times
- Highly programmable
- Easy to refill
- ABS plastic
- Feed level indicator
- Battery not included
- Complex assembly
If you want to train deer to feed in certain areas at certain times, this highly programmable feeder might be your best bet. This is doubly true because of the various indicators that allow you to stay on top of your feeding so your deer have a consistent routine and are always getting the nutrition they need.
All About AntlerZ Deer Feeder
The main draw of the AntlerZ is its stability. In fact, it's not really a "tripod" feeder at all since it has four legs. This, along with its wide feet, can balance better on uneven or wet ground. The only downside of this design is that mature bucks with big racks can sometimes have trouble getting to the small feed ports.
Another unique feature is the steel design, which is a lot tougher, albeit heavier, than most plastic deer feeders. Again, this keeps it stable in uneven terrain and it's also more protective against small animals like squirrels that can chew through a plastic casing.
Otherwise, this feeder has a gravity design and is pretty straightforward and easy to install and use. Nevertheless, you can adjust it thanks to the spincast box. It's also easy to refill but still secure due to the lid that attaches with dual latches.
We have some guys on staff that use this feeder and add the Evolution All Seasons 12v Feeder Deer Feeder Kit w/The Timer seen below.
The metal spin plate with built in varmint guard makes automatic deer feeders varmint proof, no more raccoons and squirrels stealing all your deer corn.
The feeder kit above can be used with most deer feeders.
This combination produces the best automatic deer feeder you will ever own.
- 4 legs and feet
- Stable design
- Steel casing
- Easy setup
- Spincast box
- Secure dual-latch lid
- 225 lb capacity
- Hard-to-reach feeding ports
Consider the AntlerZ if you've previously had trouble with plastic deer feeders cracking, falling over or letting small animals chew through to the feed. With a galvanized steel casing, it's about as tough a feeder as you can get and stable too, not just because of the heavier steel design, but the four legs and feet as well.
Wildgame Innovations Tripod Deer Feeder - Best Budget Tripod Deer Feeder
It's rare to find a feeder at such an affordable price with such a large capacity: 225 pounds. Plus, it only takes about 15 minutes to set up, another convenience rare to find on budget models, and accepts a wide range of feeds giving you even more value for the price.
This feeder is highly programmable and adjustable as well. You can set up to four daily feed times, each of which can last five, 10, 15 or 20 seconds. This programmability helps you train your deer and get them moving in a predictable way and allows you to adjust the amount of food you give to the size of the herd, which is going to grow and shrink over the seasons.
Finally, the casing is pretty sturdy and can hold up to rough weather and plenty of jostling as well thanks to the heavy-duty legs. Unfortunately, the lid doesn't quite match this quality. It can be hard to get it secure, so if you aren't careful, you might lose some feed to squirrels.
- 225-lb capacity
- Easy setup
- Great value
- Heavy-duty design
- Unstable lid
- Battery not included
Because of its value price, this feeder is a great place to start for someone growing a small herd. Since it's easy to set up and easy to program, you don't have to be a feeder expert, and you can leave it for a while before having to worry about refilling it. At the same time, you can use it to start experimenting with different feed types to get your deer as healthy as possible.
Best Hanging Deer Feeder
Moultrie Pro Hunter II Hanging Feeder
This feeder is good if you want to provide a lot of feed over a long period of time. That's because, though it's programmable so you can avoid feeding the entire forest, you can set a 60-second long feeding time, several times longer than other programmable feeders.
That said, you don't have to program it for 60 seconds. You can do feed times as short as one second and as often as six times a day. This versatility, which is really easy to set up thanks to the Easy Set programming, means you can adapt to the game in your area and slowly work them into a routine that will keep them healthy and benefit you once hunting season comes around.
As for installation, we're fond of the unique design the Pro Hunter II has. It's not just a bucket like most hanging deer feeders, but has two hooks you can use to hang the feeder over a tree branch with a hanging bar, or you can get creative with ropes and ties. The only problem is you'll have to get this equipment yourself along with the 6V battery.
- Avoids feeding other animals
- Highly programmable feed times
- Easy Set programming
- Numerous hanging options
- Quicklock adapter
- 40 lb capacity
- Requires additional equipment
- Battery not included
Hanging feeders like the Moultrie Pro Hunter II are good choices if you have a lot of problems with other wildlife getting in your feed. Not just squirrels, but bears, raccoons, whatever it may be. In this vein, the Pro Hunter II actually goes the extra mile because its design gives you so many more options for hanging. Plus, you can still regularly and consistently feed your deer thanks to the simple but extensive programming options.
Wildgame Innovations Pail Feeder
This is the classic hanging feeder design, essentially a bucket you hang from a tree. Except that with one of the easiest setups on the market and the user-friendly timer that lets you control how much feed you disperse in a 30-foot radius, it's a lot more convenient than making a bucket feeder yourself yet amazingly the same price or even less expensive.
A unique feature of this feeder is the Realtree camo finish. This helps get the deer comfortable to the feeder more quickly and also hides it from other animals that may try to steal the feed like squirrels.
Okay, but as a budget model, it has downsides, right? The main problem is that you'll need an anchor point for a rope to tie to the handle and hang it from a branch. This limits where you can hang it, but the bucket handle does make it easier to move around.
The other primary issue is that, like most electronic feeders, the battery isn't included. However, with this specific feeder, it's difficult to wire in your own battery or solar panel. We would recommend getting the matching battery from Wildgame Innovations.
- Easy assembly
- User-friendly timer
- 30-ft feed disbursement
- Realtree camo finish
- Easy to transport
- 40 lb capacity
- Limited hanging options
- Limited battery options
- Difficult to seal lid
If you've considered just going to the hardware store and getting a bucket to use as a hanging feeder, this feeder from Wildgame Innovations is probably a better bet. It won't cost you much more money, but it will save you a lot of time while providing extra features like spincast feed disbursement up to 30 feet and a camo finish that helps get your herd into a comfortable routine.
We absolutely love this ground feeder from Banks Outdoors. You can tell just by looking at it that it's high quality and designed to feed deer consistently while blending into the environment so the animals feel comfortable and stress-free while they're feeding.
At the same time, the feeder is one of the easiest out there to use. Just set it on the ground in a feeding spot. You don't need any complicated devices or equipment. The feeder just dispenses feed from four ports so the deer can access the feed from 360 degrees. You don't even have to worry about it too much because it has capacity for around 250 pounds of feed, ideally corn or protein pellets, and can hold up in rough weather thanks to the thick and durable UV-stabilized polyethylene construction.
Whenever you do have to add feed, refilling the feeder couldn't be easier. You just pop the latch on the water-tight lid and pour in the new feed. It's right at waist level, so you can use large feed bags without a problem.
- Realistic bark design
- Easy to transport and set up
- 4 feed ports
- Durable polyethylene construction
- Water-tight lid
- Easy to refill
- No funnel
You care a lot about your deer herd, but it's not the only thing you have to manage on your property. This ground feeder takes all the hassle out of getting nutrition to your deer year round, no matter the terrain. With its large capacity, simple but durable design, and easy lid, you save time without compromising on your feeding goals even if you have a big herd.
Best Deer Feeder Comparison Chart
Best Gravity Feeder
Best Cheap Gravity Feeder
Staff Favorite Gravity Feeder
T-Post Gravity Feeder
Tripod Gravity Feeder
Large Capacity Gravity Feeder
Best Tripod Feeder
Best Automatic Deer Feeder
Best Budget Tripod Feeder
Best Hanging Feeder
Best Cheap Hanging Feeder
Best Ground Feeder
Best Type Of Deer Feeders
Gravity Deer Feeders
A gravity feeder is one of the simplest designs. It uses gravity to disperse the feed. What could be easier than that?
Usually, a gravity feeder has several ports at the bottom of a hopper. The feed basically falls out of the hopper into the ports. When the deer eat whatever feed is in the port, more feed falls into it.
Gravity feeders contrast with spincast feeders, which use an electric spin caster to sling feed in a circle around the feeder. Usually, you can program a spincast feeder to disperse its feed at specific times. Both gravity and spincast feeders can come with many different mounting styles: tripod, hanging or ground.
Compared to spincast feeders, gravity feeders are a lot easier to use and take a lot less hassle to maintain. You don't have to program them or worry about the mechanism breaking down. As a result, they're usually a lot less expensive too.
Of course, their simplicity is also their biggest downfall. You can't control the disbursement of feed at all, so you may end up feeding all the other animals of the forest as well, from bears and raccoons to squirrels, mice and chipmunks. As a result, you'll go through more feed faster, meaning you have to refill the feeder more often.
Similarly, you can't control when the feeder gives out food. Food will be available all the time. While this is still good for getting your deer the nutrition they need, it doesn't let you build any kind of routine that will benefit you come hunting season.
Tripod Deer Feeders - Best Automatic Deer Feeders
A tripod feeder is any type of feeder that's mounted on a tripod. In some cases, the feeder may actually have more than three legs—four is the most common alternative—but it's still referred to as a tripod feeder because it functions on the same principle.
The hopper and feed ports are suspended above the ground by the legs allowing for more effective feed distribution. If it's a gravity tripod feeder, it will be at a height only accessible to deer. Although some larger animals like bears may be able to get to the feed, this will largely prevent raccoons, skunks and possums from stealing the feed.
Tip: If varmints are getting up to your tripod feeder, try putting vaseline or another slippery substance on the legs to keep the animals from being able to climb them.
There are even more advantages if the tripod feeder has a spincast device. By being elevated, it allows the spin caster to sling feed in a wide radius so that more deer can feed at once.
Plus, the tripod design allows you to set up the feeder just about anywhere. You don't need a tree or a post, and you don't have to hang it. This is ideal for those in environments where you don't have many other options.
Of course, a tripod feeder has its disadvantages, too. Primarily, it takes a lot longer to set up and transport. It might be great for remote terrain, but you have to get the tripod to that terrain somehow. This makes the initial installation more of a hassle.
Additionally, tripod feeders tend to be more expensive and less stable. The legs may sink into wet ground or collapse in storms or after enough jostling from animals. If you go with a tripod feeder, make sure it's well balanced when you set it up, and definitely try to find one with sturdy, well-constructed legs.
Hanging Deer Feeders
A hanging feeder hangs from a tree or any other elevated object so that feed is dispersed from above. Many people make their own hanging feeders with buckets that they then hang from a tree branch using a rope. This can then be used as a gravity feeder, or you can attach a spin caster to the bottom to disperse feed in a circle. These days, though, you can get a premade hanging feeder for not a whole lot more than it would cost in materials to make your own, and it'll save you time.
Hanging feeders are pretty similar to tripod feeders in that they let you feed to the deer from above, preventing other animals from getting to it. In fact, hanging feeders are usually even better than tripod feeders at preventing squirrels and raccoons from getting to the feed. Meanwhile, they're a lot less expensive than tripod feeders and a lot easier to transport them out to where you need them.
Here's the problem, though: you need other equipment. Usually, you'll at least need some kind of rope to hang it from the tree. And unless you're going to climb up the tree yourself, you'll also need an anchor on the ground. On the one hand, this is more equipment you have to buy, but it does actually give you more creative options when it comes to locations for installing your feeder.
A hanging feeder also tends to have low capacity compared to other types of feeders since you're limited in the amount of weight you can hang from a tree. This means you have to refill it frequently, which is also a bit more difficult since you have to take it down from wherever it hangs.
If you do get a hanging feeder, a spincast design is your best bet. This is where hanging feeders really shine because you can hoist them high and disperse feed in a wide, uninterrupted radius. This allows you to create a consistent routine for predictable deer movement.
A ground feeder is the simplest type of mounting. It's a feeder you just set on the ground, basically a big barrel with holes at the bottom that dispense the feed onto the ground allowing the deer to eat it.
This obviously has a few major drawbacks. For one thing, any animal can easily get to the feed, not just the deer. Also, it can't disperse the feed very far, really just right next to the feeder itself.
Besides that, though, ground feeders are great, especially for those who have a lot of work on their property and can't be dealing with fixing and adjusting feeders all the time. Ground feeders take basically no work or maintenance besides refilling them, which you also don't have to do that much because they usually have large capacities since they aren't suspended.
On top of that, refilling is extra easy because the feeder is on the ground. You don't have to take it down or climb up on something while holding a 50-lb bag of feed. Just open it up and pour in the feed.
How To Choose The Best Deer Feeders For Your Needs
Is It Legal To Use A Deer Feeder In Your Area?
Laws about feeding vary significantly by state and even within states by county. In some states like Utah and Kansas, there are no restrictions. Then in other states like Rhode Island and New York, feeding deer is completely prohibited.
In most cases, states have somewhat more complicated regulations. For example, you may only be able to feed deer on private land, or specific types of feed may be allowed while others are banned.
In some states, like Connecticut, you can only feed deer during hunting season in certain zones. Connecticut uses this as a management tool in zones where the deer population is too high. They allow the use of feeders for bow hunting in order to reduce the herd.
Another common situation is that feeding deer is legal but you can't hunt over your feeder. In these states, feeders usually have to be removed a certain amount of time before hunting the area, usually 10-14 days.
There are still more nuances to the laws. Feeding may only be legal between certain dates or in certain parts of the state. Some states have zones where it's legal and zones where it isn't on top of county-specific restrictions.
Before you buy a feeder, you need to check your state and local laws. If feeding is illegal in your area, obviously you don't need a feeder, but it's more than that. For instance, if you live in an area where feeding is only legal during certain parts of the year, you want a feeder that's highly mobile.
Naturally, you want to save money when looking for a feeder, but like most things in life, you get what you pay for. Generally speaking, when comparing two feeders of the same design, the one with better quality will be more expensive.
That said, you can save a lot of money by avoiding design features you don't actually need. For instance, you don't need to pay for a spin caster if a gravity feeder will do the trick. Here are some general rules of thumb:
- Gravity feeders are much cheaper than spincast feeders. You should only invest in a spincast feeder if you have a big problem with other animals eating your feed or if you're serious about getting your deer to regularly visit a particular feeding area so that you can take advantage of it once hunting season comes around.
- All else being equal, you'll pay more for a larger capacity. Consequently, think about how much feed you want to have in the feeder at a time. This depends on the number of deer (bigger herds require more feed), but also how often you want to refill it. If your feeder is somewhere remote, you want more capacity so you don't have to go refill it as often.
- Hanging feeders are usually some of the least expensive. Although they usually have lower capacities and require some work to install, they're great budget options even with spin casters.
- Saving money usually means spending time and vice versa. Feeders that are easy to install tend to be a bit more expensive than those that require a lot of work on your part.
Furthermore, you should consider value. Instead of just looking at the nominal price tag, think about what you're getting for the money. For example, if a feeder is $100 but comes with everything to mount it and the spin-caster battery, it's actually a better value than a $50 feeder that requires you to invest in $75-worth of extra equipment.
Also consider time. There's a reason people say "time is money." A feeder with a higher price tag may end up saving you much more time, making it well worth it.
Capacity is one of the areas where feeders differ most. You may see it measured in gallons, the volume of the feeder, or pounds, the approximate weight of feed you can fill it with. You can find feeders that hold about 40 pounds, just a few gallons, up to over 1,000 pounds, or dozens of gallons.
Capacity is important for a few reasons. The main one is how much feed you give your deer. If you just have a few does and their fawns that move through your property, a small capacity might be enough. However, if you have an extensive property with numerous deer and big bucks you want to get as healthy as possible, go for a bigger capacity.
The other reason to consider capacity is because a lower capacity means you're going to have to refill the feeder more often. This can be a real hassle if your property is large and the feeder is in a remote area only accessible on foot. After all, you're going to have to carry those big bags of feed out there. And if it's a really big feeder, it might take several bags to fill it up.
On the other hand, filling up a giant 600-pound feeder might be pointless if you're using a type of feed that will attract bugs or go bad before the deer eat it all. Unlike corn, which usually lasts for a long time without any problems, you should only use as much of other types of feed like protein pellets and fruit-based feeds as the deer are going to eat.
Ease Of Installation
Some feeders are super easy to install. Others take all day. Some feeders just have a strap you wrap around a tree while others require you to set up an anchor, loop a rope over a branch and program a timer for a spin caster.
In some cases, ease of installation depends on the design and what you're using the feeder for. For instance, gravity feeders are always easier to install than spincast feeders if the design is the same otherwise. If you need a spin caster, you'll just have to put up with the extra installation, though you can, of course, always look for a spin-cast device with easy setup and programming.
However, certain mounting designs are also easier to install than others. For instance, tripod feeders are always a little difficult to install because you have to carry the legs with you wherever you want to set it up. A lot of feeders also require you to buy extra equipment like ropes or posts, which can be an inconvenience.
In this case, your budget is likely to be the biggest factor. Feeders that are especially easy to install and come with easily programmable timers in the case of spin casters are usually more expensive while feeders that are inconvenient to set up tend to be cheaper.
Arguably the biggest problem that feeder designers try to tackle is that there are a lot of other animals out there in the forest that like to eat the same food as deer: raccoons, skunks, possums, rabbits, squirrels and even bears. You're not looking to feed them, though. You want to feed your deer to get them as healthy as possible.
The best way to prevent most animals from getting to the feed is to put it up higher somehow. Usually this means a tripod or hanging feeder. Smaller animals like raccoons, possums and rabbits will have difficulty reaching feed in a tripod feeder, but it'll be no problem for deer.
Even better, you can use a spin caster to set specific times for feed disbursement. As a result, the deer will learn what times to come to the feeder to get food while animals passing by will be out of luck.
Those strategies work great for just about all animals except squirrels. Seemingly the cutest and most harmless of the woodland creatures, squirrels are experts at getting to feed. Not only can they climb up tripods and down hanging ropes, but even worse, they'll chew right through a feed hopper to get to the goodies inside.
When a manufacturer advertises their feeder as varmint proof, they're usually talking about squirrels. To adequately prevent squirrels from reaching the feed, a feeder should have two main things: a tough construction that the squirrels can't chew through and a tight lid that they can't wriggle their way under. If you have a lot of squirrels in your area, look for these features.
Battery life is an issue for automatic deer feeders. The feeders themselves tend to be pretty efficient, only drawing a small amount of power when they sling the feed. However, timers and their computers draw a steadier stream.
A low battery life is a big problem not just because it means you have to replace the battery more often, which costs time and money, but because it makes it harder to create a consistent feeding routine with your herd. Deer are less likely to regularly come to the feeder if it doesn't disperse feed 10% of the time due to a dead battery. If you're in the market for a spincast feeder, look for one with long battery life.
Lastly, it's always worth it to look for a feeder with a good warranty. For one thing, you can buy with confidence because you know that you won't be out the money if your feeder breaks down the day after you buy it.
On top of that, it shows that the manufacturer takes pride in their product and expects it to last. The best deer feeders will have a solid warranty.
Are gravity feeders good for deer?
Yes, gravity feeders are good for deer. They provide deer with a steady source of food that is easily accessed, even during times of natural food scarcity.
What is the best time to set a deer feeder to feed?
The best time to set a deer feeder to feed is during the daylight hours. This will condition the deer to visit the feeder while it is still light out. They will quickly learn that if they don't get there early, other deer will have eaten the food on the ground.
Do deer feeders scare big bucks?
No, deer feeders do not scare big bucks. In fact, they will actually become conditioned to visit the feeder, even in the daylight. Many big bucks have been harvested by hunting over a feeder.
How do I get big bucks to come to my feeder?
You can get big bucks to come to your feeder by mixing an attractant with your feed that contains the essential nutrients that big bucks crave. Also, choose a high capacity feeder so that you do not have to visit the area very often. The less human scent you can leave in the area, the more likely big bucks are to visit.
A feeder is one of the most important devices to have if you want to start managing a herd or attracting deer to your property. Not only does it help you keep the deer healthy and well-nourished, but it allows you to create routines with your deer that can make you more successful come deer hunting season. With all the different designs and mountings, you just have to get the one that will serve your situation best.
The most common deer feed to use with feeders is corn. If you want to draw deer from neighboring properties consider mixing deer attractant with corn, which the deer can smell from a long way off.
From simple gravity deer feeders to large automatic deer feeders mounted on tripods, make sure you've done your homework to determine the best feeder for your needs.